For Planning Board Chairman Dennis Galvin, leadership is the central issue in the 2017 selectman’s race. At a campaign kickoff event at BixBites restaurant, in which Galvin announced his candidacy for a seat on the Board of Selectmen, he said the current Board is “aloof, secretive and detached” from the citizens. He pledged to work hard to reverse this, if elected.
Pointing to a controversial decision regarding a proposed asphalt plant, Galvin said, “it was clear that the Board of Selectmen lacked any sense of how critical that issue was for so many Westford residents. There should have been an opportunity to render a public decision.”
Galvin raised concerns about the settlement, because, he said, it essentially set aside enforcement of a town bylaw. Galvin said that the town’s bylaws “protect everyone’s property rights and values” and should never be set aside lightly.
He criticized the selectmen for becoming too involved in land-use matters.
“They should not be choosing winners and losers,” he said.
If elected Galvin said that he would work hard to make the board “responsive, open and more reflective of citizen concerns.”
Galvin also committed to maintaining the quality of town service in a fiscally responsible way. He was critical of any move to by-pass the collective bargaining process.
This “would cause in-fighting within the town’s collective bargaining system, negatively effecting quality of service,” he said.
The candidate expressed deep concern over the expanding opioid epidemic. He noted that Westford has not been immune to its impact.
“Compounding the problem is the recent state decision to legalize recreational marijuana,” Galvin said. “This will inevitably make more marijuana accessible to children and this can have devastating effects.” He called on the Board of Selectmen to lead the effort to better track and address the opioid threat by establishing a task force to include the Westford Police, Board of Health and the Westford Schools. Galvin anticipated that passing local bylaws to strictly control recreational marijuana would become an integral part of the response strategy.
Galvin is a long time resident of Westford. He and his wife Kathy raised four children in town. He is a retired Massachusetts State Police Major, a former Director of Security for the Executive Office of Transportation and a former business and project manager for G4S Secure Solutions.
His community service includes Confraternity of Christian Doctrine teacher at St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish, Westford Academy Parent Advisory Council member, Pop Warner Football coach, member, Board of Directors of Westford Against Substance Abuse .
He has been a member of the Westford Planning Board for 12 years serving as its chairman for two. Galvin seeks election to the Board of Selectmen at the May 2 town election.